DUBLIN criminal John Traynor stayed away from a court in Amsterdam as judges were asked to hand him over to the British authorities on the foot of an extradition warrant.
The 62-year-old former member of the notorious John Gilligan drugs gang has a serious heart condition, the court was told. No reason was given for his decision to waive his right to appear and a court translator was present in case he changed his mind at the last minute and decided to turn up.
The convicted fraudster was using a driving licence – in the name of a well known Amsterdam-based Dublin-born drug trafficker – when he was arrested on a traffic violation in the Amstelveen area of the Dutch capital on August 24.
No details of his arrest or activities and lifestyle in Holland were given during the hearing and personal details about the fugitive or his background in Ireland were not revealed during the public hearing.
But the court did hear that he had been living illegally in the Netherlands for the past 14 years.
John Traynor who ran car garages in Dublin in the 1980s and 1990s had been a fugitive on the run from a British prison since November 1992, the court heard. He had absconded from a jail in England two years into a seven-year sentence, handed down by the Old Bailey in London for fraud and receiving bearer bonds worth at the time an estimated IR£4 million, according to the extradition documents.
Part of a written statement by Traynor translated into Dutch was read out by the presiding judge during yesterday’s proceedings.
Fighting the extradition warrant on his behalf the defence argued a number of technical points and also challenged the length of time which had elapsed since his conviction and terms of the warrant saying that it could be considered too long a time frame within the Dutch legal system.
Dutch public prosecutor Ms N van Collenburg told the extradition hearing that all the requirements needed for his hand over to the British authorities had been fulfilled, the documents were perfectly in order and fulfilled the conditions of the European extradition agreement. The three-judge court must decide to extradite him, she said.
The court ordered that he remain in jail and a verdict in the case will be delivered on October 12 next. “He is welcome if he wants to be present,” the presiding judge told Traynor’s lawyer.
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